Abortion: Bad News/Good News

First the bad news:

Librarians in Oklahoma received the above email memo in their inboxes. It warned them of the risk termination, jail time, and a $10,000 fine if they help library visitors find information about abortion. Oklahoma’s Metropolitan Library System advised staff that, with abortion now illegal statewide, they should avoid even speaking the word “abortion,” especially since patrons might try to trick them into using it so as to report them.

Library staff should avoid speaking the word “abortion”? So much for free speech in America… or at least in Oklahoma.

Now for the good news:

The question presented to Kansas voters yesterday was whether abortion protections should be stripped from the state constitution. A “yes” vote would have allow the state’s Republican-led legislature to pass future limits on abortion — or to ban it altogether — in its coming session in January. A “no” vote would leave those protections in place.

Kansas voters cheer the outcome of the vote on abortion rights. Photo credit: Dave Kaup/AFP/Getty Images

Kansas voters in the traditionally conservative state overwhelming voted to support abortion rights. More than 60% wanted to maintain those abortion protections.

The vote sent a decisive message to Republican lawmakers about the issue’s popularity in the first political test since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. Subsequent to the Supreme Court’s ruling, more than a dozen Republican-led states have moved to ban or further restrict abortion.

Let’s hope this message will give pause to GOP lawmakers, letting them know, loud and clear, that their constituents want women to maintain their reproductive rights granted in Roe v. Wade.

Oh, who am I kidding? Republican lawmakers don’t give two shits about what their constituents want. Unless those constituents are mega donors who are willing to buy politicians to do their bidding. I’m just saying.

It’s a Paradox

The above headlined flashed up on my iPhone’s newsfeed today. What? Contraception prevents unplanned, unwanted pregnancies, and women who choose to have abortions do so, to a large extent, because of unplanned, unwanted pregnancies. So doesn’t it follow that advocating the use of contraceptives and promoting their availability would reduce the demand for abortions? Yes, it does.

But that logic seems to be beyond what many religious and social conservatives can grasp, so they continue to follow the paradox of being opposed to both abortion and contraception.

The federal right to contraceptives is accepted in the United States because the Supreme Court decided, in the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut case, that married couples have a constitutional right to buy and use contraceptives without government intrusion.

Yet after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the decision that gave women the right to have a legal abortion, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and other conservatives justices have vowed to erase the right for women to have access to birth control by going after Griswold v. Connecticut just as they did Roe v. Wade.

In an effort to ensure the right for Americans to have legal access to birth control, Democrats introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, The Right to Contraception Act, that would enshrine that right to contraceptives into federal statutory law. It would ban states from restricting access to the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraceptives, while also giving both the attorney general and medical providers the authority to bring civil lawsuits against state governments that restrict contraception access. It passed the House last week in a 228-195 vote.

But for some reason, the Democratic effort to guarantee the right to contraception under federal law sputtered in the Senate along partisan lines Wednesday. Republican Senators said no to codifying contraceptives on a federal level.

I just don’t understand why those who oppose abortion also often oppose contraception. It seems rather paradoxical to me.

As Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts said on the Senate floor today, “No abortion, but no birth control to prevent the need for one. That is where the Republican Party is today.”

Priorities

The United States Supreme Court’s priorities are all fucked up. Yesterday, as I wrote here, the six conservative justices overturned a 100 year old law in New York related to carrying guns. Today, the same six conservative justices overturned Roe v. Wade, the 50 year old decision legalizing abortions in the United States.

It seems that the Republican priorities for America are protecting the rights of gun owners and the National Rifle Association while taking away the personal rights of women to manage their own reproductive health.

What’s next? Banning contraception and gay marriage? Well, according to conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarance Thomas, the Supreme Court should reconsider rulings that protect contraception and same-sex marriage.

I don’t hate this country, but I do hate what Republicans are doing to this country.

Who Won The Week — 05/15/22

The idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

For the first time since I started Who Won the Week, I am designating another blogger, Jill Dennison, as this week’s winner. This morning she posted something (a bit of a justifiable rant, in my opinion) on her blog. It’s a rant that I consider a must read post. You can read her post by following this link to get to her blog. I’ve also copied and pasted her post below.


WHOA … THE HYPOCRISY!!!

What, exactly, is the ‘Right to Life’? Whose life? To what extent are we willing to go to preserve life? And what, exactly is life? I’m frankly sick of hearing people say they are “pro-life” when all they really mean is they are against abortion. Something in the news yesterday, though, connected some dots and made me stop … and after a bit of cursing and punching the coffee pot for not heating quickly enough, I sat down and said, “WHOA … the hypocrisy!!!!” What was that something? The second mass shooting of the weekend yesterday afternoon in a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, where at last count, 13 people were shot, 10 murdered.

Folks, let me make something perfectly clear here: the nearly-uncontrolled right to own guns is completely inconsistent with the right to life. Completely. If a person buys a gun, he or she does so with the intention of using that gun to kill. Guns literally have no other purpose than to maim and murder.

Next time someone tells you they are ‘pro-life,’ ask them if they own a gun. If they say ‘yes,’ then you can inform them that they are a potential taker of life, so no, they are not pro-life at all, they are just using the term to justify their stance on taking away women’s rights.

The shooter in Buffalo was an 18-year-old white male who apparently hates Black people for some reason, for the government is treating this as a hate crime based on his ‘manifesto.’ Gee, I wonder where he got that prejudice from? Look first at the parents, but then look at society today. Wonder why an 18-year-old kid even has access to a gun? Last Wednesday, a judge in ruled that California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to people under 21 is unconstitutional. What’s next … will it be ruled unconstitutional to ban giving guns to children age 14? Age 10? Age 5? The gun culture in this nation is truly insane. In no other nation is a civilian allowed to own an assault weapon, let alone an arsenal!

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know my stance on guns … they do not belong in the hands of civilians. Full stop. Need further proof?

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Friday night, there was yet another mass shooting that left 17 people injured, but no fatalities thus far, miraculously. This one took place late Friday night shortly after fans left a nearby NBA playoff game. Two other shootings in the same general vicinity took place earlier that evening, leaving an additional four people injured.

My message to every single member of the United States Congress is this …

Do not offer ‘condolences’ to the families of the victims in Milwaukee or Buffalo. Do not offer meaningless ‘thoughts and prayers.’ DO SOMETHING! Initiate and pass serious and meaningful gun legislation to get the guns out of the hands of people! No 18-year-old child has the need for a gun. Nobody who has EVER been accused of abusing another person in any way should be allowed to own a gun. And NOBODY anywhere, ever, for any reason has a need for an assault weapon! Shut down the gun shows where even the most basic rules are openly disregarded. Override with federal legislation the individual state laws that allow for carrying concealed weapons, for possession of a gun without a license, and make the federal law ‘One Strike, You’re Out’!

But alas, mine is a pipe dream, for those very people who claim to be ‘pro-life’ would scream, yell, and threaten any who even suggested such laws. No matter that gun violence is the leading cause of death in the U.S. You have a roughly 1-in-315 lifetime chance of death from gun violence.

For those who would claim that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives them the right to own as many guns of any sort as they wish, let me clarify the exact wording of that Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

NOWHERE does it say that people should be allowed to keep a gun in the glove compartment of their car or walk into a grocery store with one concealed in pocket or purse. NOWHERE does it say that guns should be freely available to teens. NOWHERE does it say that a person should be allowed to own an assault weapon that didn’t even exist when the Constitution was written in 1787!

Those who believe that abortion is an infringement on the right to life, better wake up and look at the gun culture, the lack of gun laws in this country, for already this year 15,862 people have lost their life to a person with a gun. That is more than the total gun deaths all year in 2016! But yet, do you hear anybody speaking for the ‘right to life’ of those victims?

Friday it was Milwaukee, Saturday it was Buffalo … will your neighborhood be Sunday’s statistics?

If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — April 15th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 15th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on April 15, 2018.

Is God Really Pro-Life?

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I saw this bumper sticker above on a car the other day and it made me wonder how someone would know that God is pro-life.

Is this the same pro-life God who killed all the first born males in Egypt so that Pharaoh would “let His people go?”

Is this the same pro-life God who drowned all life on earth except for Noah and his family and the pairs of animals that gathered on Noah’s ark?

The same pro-life God who permitted the Nazis to exterminate more than six million living human beings (including, no doubt, pregnant women) during World War II? Who allowed hundreds of thousands of Japanese (including, no doubt, pregnant women) to die when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Who stands by twiddling His thumbs while Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad gasses his own people (including, no doubt, pregnant women)?

So where, exactly, do people get the idea that God is pro-life? From the Bible, you say? Oh really?

The God depicted in the Bible is the greatest mass murderer of all time. He killed millions of pregnant women and their fetuses in Noah’s flood. And what about the conquest of Canaan, the incineration of Sodom and Gomorrah, and in numerous other major slaughters described in the Bible? When the entire populations of towns are massacred as part of “God’s will,” you can be sure that pregnant women and their unborn children were among the victims.

Why did God, who allegedly loves the unborn and hates abortion, kill so many unborn children — as well as living children, adolescents, and adults — throughout biblical history? What makes anyone believe that God cares about unborn children?

The anti-abortion movement continues to declare that, in the name of God, abortion is murder. Do those opposing abortion on religious grounds know that the Bible does not consider a fetus to be a full human life or the killing of a fetus to be murder? The Bible requires the death penalty for 60 specified “criminal” violations, but abortion is not one of them.

In fact, nowhere in the Bible will you find any passage that describes a prohibition or penalty for a woman who chooses to terminate her pregnancy. Not a single verse. Yet many politicians and advocacy groups claim that their belief that abortion is murder originated in the Bible.

So where, then, is the evidence that God loves the unborn and disapproves of abortion?

Better yet, where is the evidence that God exists?


I realize that this post may piss some people off and I may even lose some followers as a result. But as Pharaoh said, “So let it be written, so let it be done.”